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Features

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Open data is fine, but sharing more data won’t solve all problems. What you need to do data properly

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“Data sharing” has become a rather conflated discussion where all data is often assumed to be the same and the same solutions or frameworks that suit one need are assumed to suit everything. There is an overarching and growing myth that sharing more data will naturally lead to better outcomes and that we just need to get around these ‘pesky barriers’ to sharing data and things will be great. Although Pia Andrews still believes open data is important for democracy, economy and society, she knows that when it comes to sensitive data, especially unit record data with personal information, more sharing is simply not always the answer.

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Collaboration, consultation and civility: what Verity Firth learnt about contending with commercial lobbying when trying to deliver public health policy

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Governments seeking to implement public health policy often face intense lobbying from industries vying to protect commercial interests. Verity Firth, former Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney and NSW Labor Minister provides her insights into how governments can strike the right balance in delivering better health and social outcomes, and how public health advocates can ensure their voices are heard.

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If you can bridge the gap in government silos, you might be a boundary spanner. Here are the seven skills you need to collaborate in government

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While the case for joined-up-government and cross-sectoral partnerships appears to have been convincingly made, the question of how to make this happen effectively still looms large. Many articles and studies focus on the institutional barriers that make it hard for governments to work collaboratively. However, while that is certainly important, Thea Snow focuses on a piece of the puzzle that is often neglected: the role of individuals in supporting collaboration to succeed.

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How Victoria’s award-winning prescription monitoring system SafeScript is fighting overdose — and won over the AMA

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Each year, more Victorians die from prescription medications than road accidents or illicit drugs. And yet until recently, there was no reliable way for doctors and pharmacists to know whether their patient was already seeing other practitioners to bump up their dosage. It's been described as a game of Russian roulette for doctors — they don't know where the potential bullets are for any particular patient. But that's changing.

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Most social media platforms weren’t designed for public engagement on policy. How to create media platforms that can ride democracy’s digital highway

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Despite the sheer scalability, connectivity, and use as highways for political messaging and public debate, most social media platforms were not designed with the purpose of engagement on policy issues . The repercussions for governments are not to be taken lightly. So, where do governments begin? Audrey Lobo-Pulo shows the way.

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Peter Shergold was the accidental public servant. Apprenticed to a titan at the age of 40, he learned to lead through listening. His own legacy is the reimagining of public impact

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Peter Shergold didn’t mean to stay in the public service but ended up running the place. And well over a decade since he left his final post as the Secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and therefore as head of the Australian public service, he’s still, by his own admission, fighting the fight.

We created the system, and therefore we can reinvent the system: the urgency behind public sector reform

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Even if people are motivated to understand something fundamentally new to their worldview, it doesn’t necessarily translate into how they behave. It is easier to improve something than change it. Pia Andrews provides some food for thought to encourage greater collective urgency for reforming the public sector to reflect the changing world and what sort of future we need and want as a society.